Boxing chief rejects 'coup', says still in charge

The embattled president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) defiantly claimed on Saturday that he was still in charge of the body despite moves by rival executives to oust him.

International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Wu Ching-kuo
International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Wu Ching-kuo (AFP)

The embattled president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) defiantly claimed on Saturday that he was still in charge of the body despite moves by rival executives to oust him.

In a phone interview with AFP from Taipei, Wu Ching-kuo accused his AIBA rivals of trying to pull off "a military coup" and insisted the no confidence vote passed against him was illegitimate.

A notice pinned to the door of the organisation's Lausanne headquarters this week informed employees that the executive committee had approved a motion of no confidence against Taiwan's Wu and that an extraordinary congress would be held within the next three months to choose a new leader.

AIBA, which organises amateur boxing including Olympic competitions, has been struggling with instability and financial difficulties.

Wu's rivals have claimed that AIBA is on the brink of bankruptcy and said in the letter that an "interim management committee" had taken charge of the association pending the selection of a new chief.

Wu hit back on Saturday, claiming that "financially AIBA is very strong" with more than $10 million (8.5 million euros) in the bank and no debt.

He added that an audited financial report had recently been approved by the executive committee, further undermining the basis for the no confidence vote.

"This is purely political," Wu said.

His rivals include Welshman Terry Smith, Pat Fiaco of Canada and former AIBA executive director Ho Kim of South Korea, who was ousted from AIBA over allegations of financial wrongdoing.

Wu claimed he was being targeted because of his reform push and specifically singled out Ho for seeking "revenge".

The International Olympic Committee told AFP this week that it was monitoring the AIBA fracas and wanted more information before deciding on its next steps.

Wu said he had written to IOC chief Thomas Bach to explain the situation, pinning Ho as a main plotter.

He vowed to remain in charge and oversee the world championships set to open on August 25th in Hamburg.

"Nothing will stop us," he told AFP.